Mortgage guide for dentists

Giving you the tools to secure a mortgage


Why dentists may struggle to get a mortgage

Applying for a mortgage can sometimes feel like pulling teeth, especially when some lenders don’t understand the nature of your profession.

Whether you’re an NHS dentist or belong to a private practice, your job may present unexpected challenges when you’re looking to step on the property ladder. 

We’ve put together a list of the common struggles dentists face and how you can improve your chances of submitting a successful mortgage application.

Student debt

Graduating as a newly qualified dentist is an exciting time, but it’s also when your student debt is at its highest. If you’re at the start of your dental career, it’s likely that you have many repayments ahead until your debt is settled.

While this may be manageable under your new income, it still eats into what you can afford to pay towards your mortgage each month. Affordability is the main thing lenders look for, so this will often affect the amount they offer.

That's why it can help to look for lenders who consider your long-term earning potential rather than your short-term circumstances.

On the move

Unless you’ve been lucky enough to train, learn and build your career in the same location, you probably have a history of moving houses. This could affect your chances of getting a mortgage, as frequent changes of address can impact your credit score.

And it’s not just moving you have to consider. Living in shared accommodation can also cause issues if your credit history is linked to previous housemates.

So, what can you do? Before starting a mortgage application, you can check the health of your credit score using a service like Experian or Equifax. The sooner you check your score, the more time you’ll have to raise it (if you need to).

If you’re interested in learning more about credit scores and how to improve yours, read our guide to buying your first home.

Short-term contracts

Though you may be settled into a practice now, it’s likely that the start of your career consisted of short-term contracts across various NHS employers.

While this style of work is standard practice in dentistry, some lenders may think this is due to a lack of job security. If you’re struggling to secure a mortgage, there are lenders that work specifically with dentists, medics and other professions that take on contracted work.

At Wesleyan Financial Services, we act as broker, providing access to lenders that understand the ins and out of your profession. See how we can help you secure a mortgage.

Remember your mortgage is secured on your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments.

Complex incomes

Dental practices are normally set up as limited companies from which you take dividend income. If you’re a practice owner and that’s your main source of income, you may struggle to secure a mortgage from lenders.

Some dentists also work as sole traders or as part of a partnership. Both of these normally mean your income is made up of ad-hoc drawings and dividends rather than a regular salary. Despite self-employment being a popular option amongst dentists, some lenders still see this as unstable and a risk.

Even if you have a combined and generous income from working privately and for the NHS, you may get turned down by standard lenders. This is because self-employment makes it difficult for lenders to predict how much you’ll earn in the future.

At Wesleyan Financial Services, we don’t think you should be punished for your profession. That’s why we work with mortgage providers that offer deals dentists deserve.

Professional mortgages for dentists

We’ve touched on the importance of choosing a lender that understands your profession, but there’s sometimes also the option of applying for a professional mortgage.

Dentists are one of a select group of professionals that can benefit from this type of mortgage. As your job is associated with higher long-term earnings, you can often enjoy better interest rates, lower deposits and more generous mortgage offers.

Whether you’re eligible or not will depend on the lender, as criteria can depend on your qualifications, age, employment type and registration with industry bodies.

It can also depend on your employment status. If you're applying for a mortgage as a self-employed person (for example, the owner of a dental practice), your lender may ask for additional information to prove your income.

At Wesleyan Financial Services, we have access to professional mortgage lenders. Through a quick financial health check, we can let you know if you’re eligible for a professional mortgage and help you with your application.

The benefits of using a specialist broker

At Wesleyan Financial Services, we work alongside a panel of leading lenders who are experienced in finding mortgages for dentists. Whether you’re just starting out in your career or already own a practice, we can help lenders build an accurate picture of your financial health, to give you the best chances of a successful application.

We also manage the whole process for you - saving you time and stress by liaising with the lender on your behalf.

We’ll assign you a Specialist Financial Adviser that works specifically with dentists. Someone who understands your career progression, sick pay entitlements, pension contributions and more. Using our knowledge of your profession, we’ll work out what you can realistically afford to borrow in the long term.

Wesleyan Financial Services will be paid commission by the mortgage lender upon completion of the loan. Product fees may be payable to the lender. 

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